I am a proud bicycle commuter…. but I couldn’t say that three years ago. In honor of Bike Month and Bike to Work Week, and in hopes of encouraging more Philadelphians to consider biking, here is my story.
When I moved to Philly for grad school I ditched my car and bought a bike. I knew I’d be living relatively close to campus and a car just seemed like a hassle and extra expense to have in the city. Plus, I liked going on bike rides so I figured I’d at least give it a shot. I started out going on short rides, mainly the two miles to and from school. Over time I built up my confidence by riding a little bit further, like into Center City, learning about how to ride safely through the Bicycle Coalition’s Urban Riding Basics workshop, and going on group rides. Riding my bike was not only an alternative mode of transportation for me but became, and still is, a source of happiness. Here is a status update that I posted on Facebook a year after moving to Philly.
Today I ride a bike for many reasons:
- It’s a convenient and affordable way to get around town.
- Often times it’s a faster way to get around, too!
- You can park almost anywhere.
- It’s good for the environment.
- It’s good for your health.
- It lets you explore places from a different perspective and sometimes lets you go where cars can’t!
- It’s something to do with friends.
- It’s something you can do at almost any age.
- It’s fun!
Riding a bike is something that you can adjust to meet your lifestyle: whether it’s learning how to ride a bike, riding around the block, or riding across town. Not only that, but Philly is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country.
Don’t have a bike? Consider using Indego Bike Share! It’s just $15/ month for unlimited 1 hour rides, or $5/month for PA Access card holders. Indego’s recent expansion makes these shared bikes accessible to even more of the city.
If you are thinking about riding your bike for transportation, Bike to Work Week is a perfect time to try it out. Even if you start out by biking to a bus or train- a little goes a long way. I’ll be biking to work this Friday for Bike to Work Day and hope to see some new faces out on the road!